New Study Says College Degree Is Not Enough

According to a recent study, employers are finding that recent college grads lack the skills required for entry into the labor market. Even students with “marketable” technical training often lack the kind of liberal arts training that most innovative companies need.

One problem is that employers no longer do job training–they expect students to be “job-ready” right out of college.Yet faculty in many liberal arts or humanities colleges do not (or do not want) to see themselves as playing a role in career preparation. Even in cases where they want to help, the way forward is unclear. Combine this with 90% of college students who consider college primarily as job training and you begin to see a deepening crisis for everyone involved.

Where does this disconnect come from? What are the solutions? See article here:

http://chronicle.com/article/A-College-Degree-Sorts-Job/137625/#id=overview

Our approach to these challenges in the Humanities College at BYU has been to:

1) Encourage students to balance their education between technical/vocational and humanities disciplines. A hybrid approach–what Phil Gardner calls “a technically savvy liberal arts major or a liberally trained technical major”–is now what the market requires. Make this known to students, faculty and advisors across campus. Often we confine students to our own academic silos.

2) Focus on advising as the ground zero for messaging about how to bridge academics and careers.

3) Strongly encourage or require professionally-relevant experiences, such as undergraduate research or internships. All the evidence points to the internship as the deciding factor. But make sure it’s the right kind of internship and of sufficient duration to be meaningful.

4) Run advising workshops that teach students how to discuss the relation between academic study and internship experiences in ways that resonate with future employers.

Speak up! Let us know what you think.